Tarasha paused to stare at the man in front of her. He stood at ease and narrowed his gaze at her, twitching his lips. She could see the gun curves showing at the pocket side of his trousers. At first she was sure that he was a policeman until he mentioned her name. Then she became uncertain, she wasn’t expecting the police to have made so much progress in investigating her.
‘Tarasha,’ Don called and took a step forward. She took two steps backward without responding to his call. Don paused to reason for a moment. The door behind her was opened, so it would be easy for her to get out and he didn’t want that to happen. ‘Tarasha, can we talk?’ He called again. Tarasha bit her lips now and stared straight into his eyes. Now she knew he wasn’t a policeman because no other person knew her name except for her employees and Chief Gab, and maybe some of Chief Gab’s associates who he might have spoken to about her. Was he one of Chief Gab’s associates? She asked herself. Or could he be Don? Benny, Aisha and Cole’s former Boss. That was the other person who could know her name, due to his past relationship with Aisha.
She shook her almost invisibly, unsure of what conclusion to make about him. She kept a straight face. Don too was unsure of what to conclude. Was this Tarasha or someone else? The girl he was seeing looks so young and harmless to him. Her face even looks innocent and naive. Or maybe she was Alexandra Evelyn who he found out from the police case report could be the girlfriend of Henry. To make matters worse, she was not even replying or making any facial response. If she was Tarasha, there was a way he expected her face to respond when he called her name but if she wasn’t Tarasha, then she was supposed to be expressing fear which she wasn’t. But she was a trained Assassin like himself, his brain didn’t tell him that she could know all the tricks too.
‘Tarasha, let’s talk.’ Don tried his luck again.
‘Who are you?’ She finally spoke.
‘I’m a friend,’ he replied, still uncertain if she was Tarasha or not. ‘I won’t hurt you, I promise.’ He raised his two hands up to emphasize.
‘What do you want here?’ She asked, unmoved.
‘I’ve been looking for you,’ Don stated. For the first time, Tarasha made a facial response as a thought struck her mind. Was it possible that some of her employees have betrayed her and given her out to the police? Or Chief Gab had released informations which he wasn’t supposed to have. Don stood still, hoping she would take his offer to discuss with her. He saw her made a frown when he said he’s been looking for her and he got some information from that. He was about to make a conclusion when Tarasha’s voice sounded again, dismissing his information as false.
‘You don’t know me, why are you looking for me?’ She asked, intelligently confusing Don. Only criminals would not ask a question when someone states that he was looking for them, because they always expected the police to be in search of them. But now that she feigned surprise, he would think of her as someone innocent. But that would only work if he was unsure of who she was, and luckily for Tarasha, he really was.
‘Are you Tarasha?’ He foolishly asked.
‘Don, the police are here’ another guy appeared at Don’s back. ‘Oops!’ Don exclaimed, taking a quick glance at the back.
‘Sir, I don’t think we should go in now till we have our men here.’ Ken suggested, taking out his phone.
‘Just call and ask for reinforcement now,’ Dakolo shouted his order. Ken quickly complied with the order while Dakolo waited in front of the gate to get his response. He peeped through the small space by the wall to check if what the junior officer said was true.
‘They’re coming sir,’ Ken reported.
‘Okay, get the bluetooth communication devices out of the car for both of us.’ Dakolo instructed. Ken turned back into the car and brought out the devices hurriedly. Dakolo had already come closer to the car. The both of them fixed the devices to their belts and ears. ‘You stay and wait for the boys while I go inside,’ Dakolo began, ‘you should storm the the place with some others if you hear no word from me in five minutes.’
Tarasha had no reason to wait anymore, she now knew that these men weren’t officers. She fled through the opened door and was up on the fence in ten seconds. Don and his man followed outside, they saw her roll over to the other side.
‘Are you sure it was the police?’ Don turned back and asked impatiently, forgetting temporarily about Tarasha. He now needed no prophet to tell him that he was discussing with Tarasha, a usual girl couldn’t jump over the fence as easily as she just did, even he wouldn’t do it as swift as that. He felt stupid for being deceived by her looks. Was he even expecting anyone else? But what if he wasn’t deceived, maybe he wouldn’t have been able to do anything. It is easier said or thought than executed.
A strange kind of fear flashed through his heart at the thought of having being engaged in a fight or gun duel with her. He didn’t come prepared to fight or kill her, he had only come to gather information that would lead him to her. He was hundred percent sure that she wasn’t a poor specimen and it wouldn’t have been easy to take her out, he remembered stories of his strong men whom she had previously dealt with singlehandedly. But there was another problem at hand now.
‘Yes, it was the police. We heard some sounds at the gate.’
‘Did you see them?’
‘I saw one, I left the living room immediately after you left and I was at the extensions when I heard the gate creak, I quickly opened the curtain and peeped out through the window and I saw an officer sneaking back outside.’ Stainless explained
‘D–n! We must get out of here.’
‘Yes, but not through that gate. The officers are there.’
‘We’ll take the same place Tarasha took,’ Don said, staring at the spot corner of the fence.
‘Tara…?’ Stainless frowned his face.
‘Sorry… Samantha Osman,’ Don corrected.
‘Samantha Osman?’ Stainless widened his eyes in horror.
‘C’mon, call the other guy and let’s get out of this place now.’
‘What about my two other boys?’
‘You’ll call them later,’ Don said and stepped down from the house to the interlocked floor.
Dakolo finally got close to the entrance door which was broken. He hid his back by the wall and peeped in, the bulbs that turned off by the police the last time were now on and that was another sign that someone or some people were in the house presently. He entered into the first extension but nothing was there. He proceeded into the living room. He could hear running footsteps and voices inside the house. He followed after the sound and passed through the corridor of the inner rooms to the backyard, he saw a man trying to roll over to the other side of the fence. He quickly pointed his gun and quickly took a shot, it entered into the man’s leg but he still managed to roll over to the other side. Dakolo quickly followed, he jumped on the fence and peeped into the compound. He could see a man running out through the gate, another one following behind while the one he just shot was hopping after them in pains.
He dropped off the fence and tucked his pistol into his pocket, he also ensured that all devices on his body were perfectly fixed. He took some steps backwards and ran towards the fence. He climbed and quickly rolled over. He took out his bluetooth device immediately he landed and connected with Ken.
‘Are the guys there now?’ He asked hurriedly.
‘Yes, they just arrived. I’m coming into the house now.’
‘No need to come into the house anymore,’ Dakolo said, bringing out his gun as he followed after the injured guy trying to escape. ‘Get some men with you and hurry to the street behind. The men in the house are already escaping through the paper company here.’
‘Right away sir.’
‘Make sure you remain connected.’ Dakolo took some more shots at the hopping man, but none met the target. He took a brief pause on seeing the security men lying on the floor. He squatted and removed the pin from the neck of the first one, the man coughed immediately and drifted back to consciousness.
‘Don’t go anywhere,’ Dakolo commanded before getting up to continue following after the criminal. The man was already out of the gate before Dakolo got there but he had not gone far enough, his bad leg couldn’t carry him fast.
‘Halt or I shoot?’ Dakolo shouted his threat to the man. The man seemed not to listen but kept hopping around and was trying to cross the road. Dakolo stopped and carefully aimed at the same leg, he knew that the man couldn’t go too far but he didn’t want the stress that the man could put him through if he mixes with people passing by. If the man had a gun, it was also possible that he could grab a passerby and hurt the person or decide to use the victim as a hostage.
He took one shot and the man crashed to the ground. Dakolo looked around him before he proceeded to meet the fallen body. Pedestrians and motorists were already fixing their attention on the scene.
‘Did you see anybody else run this way?’ Dakolo asked a passing pedestrian.
‘Yes,’ the man answered. ‘I saw two guys, they were running that way.’ The man pointed to the direction where they took, that was the way to the roundabout.
‘Thank you,’ Dakolo felt like going after them but he knew it would be fruitless, he couldn’t pursue two men at once. It was better he focused on the one at hand. He squatted beside the shot man and searched his body, he took out the gun and knife from his pockets and kept it on the ground. Then he connected to Ken again.
‘D–n it! Where are you guys?’ He shouted.
‘At the roundabout sir, there’s a little bit of traffic.’
‘What the hell are you talking about? Come on, clear the road and get here in the next five seconds.’ Dakolo ordered before disconnecting. He never liked to disobey traffic rules but when it gets to cases like this, he had to take extreme measures. Clearing the road would require them to order all other motorists to halt even if the traffic sign or official was commanding them to go.
Dakolo returned his gun into his pocket and got up, he glanced around. He could see people staring towards him from every direction and the motorists also taking some seconds to observe him and the lying body. He took a glance at the body, the man was losing a lot of blood and could die if he wasn’t taken to the hospital soon. Ken and five other officers arrived in a police van one minute later.
‘This man needs to be rushed to the hospital,’ Dakolo said after the officers had jumped out of the van. Two officers rushed to the injured man and carried him into the van. Dakolo commanded them to drive to the hospital immediately while he was left alone with two other officers and Ken.
‘Two other guys got away,’ Dakolo said to Ken, finally keeping his gun back into the pocket. ‘What instructions did you give to the officers manning the gate?’
Tarasha could hear the sound of the gun shot twice from where she was in a traffic jam. She also saw the police van that passed, commanding every other vehicle including hers to halt while they passed. All the while, she was boiling with rage. She wished she could see Henry and strangle life out of him that moment. He was the cause for all these. He was the one that returned her emotions into her life. Now because of that, she had already began to make several mistakes that could cause bigger problems. The road was finally clead and she heaved a deep sigh of relief as she drove off. She tried to get the recent encounter off her mind.
Who was the man who called her by her name and the reason he wanted to speak with her, she would solve that later. She still had one more mission that night, her team had a special dinner with the Senate President in his house that night and she was going to attend, as the fourth person in the team who had gone to Lagos for inspection but has now returned. Cole had also hinted her that the man had offered for them to stay over in his house that night. A phone call disrupted her thoughts.
‘Mr Sylvester,’ she said after answering.
‘Hello Kimberly, I’m sorry I’ve not called you since morning.’ Sylvester’s fatigued voice sounded. ‘I’ve been busy running around about Mr Henry’s case.’
‘It’s okay sir, I understand.’ Kimberly replied pleasantly.
‘How is your mum now?’
‘Ermm…’ She stammered for a moment, temporarily forgetting that her excuse for not being at work was her mother’s illness.
‘Is she better now?’ Sylvester added.
‘Yes,’ she finally remembered.
‘Do extend my greetings to her and tell me if there’s any way I can be of help.’ Sylvester offered.
‘Thank you so much sir, I appreciate.’
‘It’s okay, you can take tomorrow off also.’
‘Oh! Thanks sir.’
The call ended. She returned back to her thoughts. She was sure that the Senate President’s life would be easier to take, now that there were lots of distractions and investigations for the police to handle, they wouldn’t expect the strike. Tarasha and her team had close to twelve hours to carry out the planning and execution. They were to get to his house for the dinner by eight pm and would leave before or by eight a.m the next morning. What she only needed to do now was to find a nurse to take care of her brother, Jeffery
.‘I told them to watch and make sure nobody escapes through the gate,’ Ken replied Dakolo’s question.
‘Let’s go…’ Dakolo was saying but got interrupted by the sound of a gunshot. He turned back to his men.
‘Did you hear that?’
‘Doesn’t sound close,’ Ken commented.
‘Doesn’t sound too far also,’ Dakolo said with an eye gesture. Ken knew what he was being asked to do and he took out his phone immediately.
‘Hello officer, was the gun shot from your end?’ Ken said into the phone. He listened for a reply while staring into Dakolo’s face. Then he cut the call and slowly dropped the phone.
‘They found some men in the neighboring compound.’ Ken said to Dakolo.
‘Let’s go,’ Dakolo said and without wasting any more time began to march forward, facing the direction of the roundabout which was still almost one kilometre away. He stopped again suddenly as he remembered something. All the men following behind him halted.
‘You,’ he said pointing to one of the junior officers.
‘Follow me,’ he ordered, ‘go back to the gate Ken. I’ll still have some business there.’ He said pointing to the paper company gate.
‘Okay sir,’ Ken said and began to walk on in the same direction with the rest of the men. Dakolo and the junior officer walked into the compound of the paper company. The guard from whose body Dakolo had removed the pin from was kneeling beside another and trying to wake him. Dakolo stopped beside the one fallen at the gate and took out the pin from the body.
‘Look for a clean container or anywhere i can keep this,’ he ordered the junior officer before proceeding forward. He squatted beside the kneeling man and removed the pin from the neck of the unconscious security guard.
‘What happened here?’ Dakolo asked the conscious guard, standing up to his feet.
‘I don’t know,’ the guard stood up to face Dakolo, looking confused. A look at the signature on Dakolo’s shirt reveal to the guard that he was an agent. ‘You don’t remember how you got into this state?’
‘Okay, what’s the last thing you can recall?’ Dakolo asked.
‘Ermm…’ The guard stammered. He paused and stared at the formerly unconscious guard who was now coughing.
‘Ehn?’ Dakolo tapped the guard on his shoulder. ‘Leave that guy and answer me first.’
‘The last thing I remember was when we were about to end the activities for the day, that was three thirty pm.’ The guy answered with a confused look.
‘Is there still anyone inside there?’ Dakolo asked pointing to the main building.
‘Ermm…what’s the time?’ The man asked. Dakolo took a glance at his wristwatch,
‘It’s past six’.
‘Everyone should have left already. We close by 4pm and all of the workers leave before 5pm.’ The junior officer returned and stretched a plain paper towards Dakolo. Dakolo dropped the pins there and the officer folded the paper.
‘You don’t remember the men who came here to attack you?’ Dakolo asked the guard. The other guard by this time had gotten up and was dusting his body. The one who was by the gate was also approaching them.
‘O boy, you remember anything wey happen?’ The guard talking to Dakolo asked his colleagues. He got no response, the one coming from the gate was grabbing his head and staggering forward. The guard turned back to Dakolo. ‘I don’t remember any men and I don’t think they remember either.’
‘Sir,’ Dakolo changed his tone to a more serious one and began to walk in a circle around the two security guards closer. ”Has something like this ever happened before?’ Dakolo paused to ask. The talking guard paused to think, his face twitched in discomfort and he scratched his bum.
‘No sir,’ the man said shakily. It was obvious that he was hiding something from the look on his face and the time he took to answer.
‘Don’t play with me,’ Dakolo shouted angrily and took out his gun.
‘It has,’ the man finally confessed. ‘But it was different from this.’
‘How was it different?’
‘We found ourselves in our office that early morning, all asleep. The only similarity with this is that we don’t remember how we all fell asleep on duty at the same time and at strange positions even without locking the gate.’
‘When was that?’
‘Saturday morning last week,’ the guard answered.
‘That means you fell asleep on Friday afternoon.’
‘No, Friday night. I could remember that we already bought what to eat by 6.30pm that day.’ Dakolo gave a mischievious smile and nodded his head slowly. It could only mean that the place had being used to access Henry’s house on the day he was poisoned.
‘And why didn’t you report it?’
‘We were not sure of what happened, we thought we all slept off due to the drink we had earlier that evening.’
‘Is that how you drink on duty?’ Dakolo asked with serious tone.
‘No o, it wasn’t an alcoholic drink. It was a herbal concoction and that wasn’t the first time we were taking something like that.’
‘I see… Well you guys would have to come to our station first thing tomorrow and repeat all you’ve said here. Failure to comply would bring more problems for you. You also need to go for medical checkup,’ Dakolo said with a note of finality and made a signal to the junior officer.
‘I need you to give him special attention and care, and I also don’t want it mentioned to anybody.’ Tarasha said to the lady beside her as they both marched from the car towards the house.
‘No problem, as far as you’ve got everything in the house like you’ve said.’ The lady replied. She was a dark, tall and slim lady, a little bit taller than Tarasha was.
‘I believe what I have should be all you need, but in case you need to get any other thing, please call me first before leaving the house.’ Tarasha said before they both entered into the house.
‘Sure madam,’ the lady nodded in acceptance.
‘Good evening brother,’ Tarasha greeted as her eyes met with Jefa’s immediately they walked into the living room.
‘Omotara,’ Jefa replied with a bright smile. He woke up feeling quite better, better than he ever felt in the hospital. He had gotten up from his bed and called out her name but got no response, then he found a note close to his bedside she wrote for him. It read,
‘I’ve gone to make some arrangements for your treatment, I’ll be back very soon.’
After reading the note, he found his way to the living room and sat alone in silence.
‘You didn’t sleep for long,’ Omotara said as she got to the sofa he was seated in. She sat on the arm and looked into his eyes for a short moment, she couldn’t stay for long as another string of emotion was being pulled.
‘I think I slept enough,’ Jefa replied. ‘I’m feeling very much better.’
‘Okay,’ Omotara got up and turned to where the nurse was standing. She took out a chip from the pocket of her short gown. ‘This lady would be here to take care of you,’ she said to Jefa, rubbing her hand on the nurse’s shoulder, she clipped the chip to the collar. The nurse gave Jefa a smile but he frowned back.
‘Do I really need a nurse, I feel strong already and I think you’re doing a better job than any nurse could do. The injections and drugs you gave me worked like…’ Jefa was saying but Omotara cut him short with an eye signal.
‘I thought you said you’ve not administered any home treatment to him?’ The nurse turned to Omotara and questioned.
‘Ermm… He was asleep, so he wasn’t aware of who administered the medications to him.’ Omotara said with a shy smile. The nurse turned back to look at Jefa’s face and he nodded in confirmation.
‘I’m on night duty today and I’ll be going to work soon.’ Omotara said as she came to stand in front of him. ‘Please come, let me show you the room you’ll stay.’
‘Do have your seat nurse,’ Tarasha said with a glance at the nurse.
‘Excuse us for a moment.’ Jefa stood up and followed her immediately, as fast as his strength could carry. She wasn’t walking fast either, so she made it easier for him. ‘I don’t want anyone to be aware that I administered drugs to you myself,’ Omotara said as they got out of earshots of the nurse. ‘Neither do I want anyone else to be aware that I have a laboratory in the house.’ She stopped in front of the door to the laboratory. She opened it and peeped inside. She closed it back again and locked it with the keys.
‘I thought you were a Doctor or nurse,’ Jefa said as they continued to proceed further. Omotara smiled.
‘None of such,’ she replied. ‘That’s why I don’t want anyone to find out. When she asks of the drugs you’ve been using, you tell her you didn’t bring any from the hospital.’
‘What about the ones you gave me?’
‘She shouldn’t find out about that,’ Omotara replied. It was really important that her lab and medicines were kept secret as the contents of the lab and constituents of the medicine could raise suspicion if seen by a medical person.
‘But how come you know so much about medicine?’ Jefa questioned anxiously. Omotara ignored the question and opened the door to her room.
‘This is my room,’ she said as she walked in with him. She proceeded towards the bed to pick some of the clothes she left there. ‘You’ll be using here, I’ll make sure I clean the whole place before I leave for work.’she said as she proceeded towards the wardrobe and threw the clothes in.
‘Ermm…’ Jefa was about to say something.
‘Don’t ask about the other rooms, I share this flat with three other people and they’ll be coming back soon.’ She cut in.
‘No, I was about to say I don’t need to come here. I could stay in the living room.’
‘I can’t allow you stay there, you need to stay somewhere suitable enough for your treatment.’ She argued. ‘You’ll stay here. I’ll come with some clothes for you when I return tomorrow morning. Let’s go back to the nurse now.’ Omotara said and began to proceed towards the door.
‘Wait,’ Jefa stopped her. ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you how you got the diary you brought and the clothes you brought for me at the hospital. I left those things in my house.’
‘Oh!’ Omotara exclaimed, remembering something. She ignored his question and walked back to the wardrobe. She opened it and took out a phone. ‘Here’s your phone,’ she walked back to Jefa and handed it over to him. Jefa stared at the phone, it was exactly the same type of his phone but the old case and screen had been changed to new ones. The police had told him that the phone must have been damaged to pieces as they couldn’t find anything like this at the accident scene. ‘I saw it fly away from you when you had the accident, so I picked it up.’ Omotara explained.
‘Thanks,’ Jefa smiled.
‘Okay, we have to return to the living room now.’ Omotara said, taking a glance at her wristwatch. Time was far spent and and she still had lots of things to do; like cleaning up her room for Jefa’s use and also hiding carefully any tool or material that could suggest to him the kind of job she did. She also had to meet with her team before eight pm for them to move together to the Senate President’s house for the operation that night.
‘Where are the rest of your men?’ Ken shouted at the criminal, accompanying his shout with a thunderous slap. The lanky guy vibrated violently and almost fell off from the seat in the police van. His mouth was already dripping of blood.
‘Oga, I swear they went into the next compound while we were asked to wait in that house and keep the people from making noise.’ The criminal replied.
‘Boys, get into the vehicles, he’s gonna lead us to their base’ Ken ordered. ‘Leave a space there for me.’ He said as he jumped down from the van and the other officers entered into the vehicles.
‘Agent Dakolo Sir,’ he called through the Bluetooth device, pressing the earphone against his ear to stop entrance of noise from the environment.
‘Officer Ken,’ Dakolo’s reply came after ten seconds.
‘We found two of the criminals here, one was shot dead while he tried to engage some of our boys in a shootout while the other is with us and he’s taking us to their base.’
‘You going there? Are you sure you have enough men?’
‘Yes, I still have about twenty men here with me. Four of them are going to be staying behind to take care of the incident here while I lead the boys to their base.’
‘Good, are you going to pass through the roundabout? So that I’ll join you people.’ Ken turned around and stared at the criminal inside,
‘is it this way or here?’ He asked, pointing at the two opposite directions.
‘This way,’ the reply came slowly. Ken turned back.
‘We’re taking the opposite way sir.’
‘Okay, start moving immediately. I’ve called the office and they are sending me another car, I’ll join you there.’ Dakolo said and the connection was cut. Ken entered into the van after giving the directions for the officers to stay and the vehicles sped off immediately. He sat right in front of the culprit.
‘Una just dey waste una time o, everybody go don run comot for base o.’ The culprit continued his rant few minutes into the journey.
‘Shut up!’ Ken slammed. ‘You’re going to take us to your leader, Samantha Osman.’
‘I say we were not sent by Samantha Osman, I don’t even know her.’ The culprit spoke in a shouting voice. Ken took out his pistol and cocked it, he placed it on the guy’s neck.
‘Shut up and take us to your main base.’ In Ken’s mind, they were being led to Samantha Osman’s main base, not knowing that they were going somewhere else entirely. …
to be continued